May 22, 2017

Embracing the journey – reflections on my life at Tieto

Simon Kavanagh

Lifecare Chief Designer, Tieto

According to Workday I began my journey at Tieto on May 1, 2005. That's 11 years, 10 months, 20 days (and counting).

While that length of time is surprising, what's even more remarkable are all the personal milestones not mentioned in Workday that have occurred during that time. Two children. Two international relocations. Six times moving house. Four cars. Two pet bereavements -  one of which we covered up by a 'replacement' without telling the kids (RIP hamsters Bob). Countless other ups and downs, minor illnesses, crises, onset of male pattern baldness and Donald Trump.

It's interesting to reflect that one of the few constants during this time has been Tieto. As we've moved from Copenhagen to Malmö to Oslo, Tieto has been a red thread. Logging onto the EU domain has become as familiar as lacing up my shoes in the morning. My Irish-Norwegian kids must be the only ones at school who know what the Finnish word for information is (unfortunately not likely to come up on a test). Tieto is woven into the fabric of our everyday life.

The chance to make a difference 

If I ask myself what it is about Tieto that attracts me most, I find there isn't one single thing. It's partly the flexibility. I've written code (poorly), tested (adequately), been an agile coach (bravely, at the time), led a development department (briefly) and now steer Design and Innovation. I have been able to try different hats until I find one that fits me and that’s pretty amazing. It's also partly the industry we’re in.Healthcare, Welfare and Education are fantastically interesting domains. There are so many opportunities here for making a genuine difference to people's lives. Whether it's professionals who use our applications (teachers, doctors, dentists, radiologists, case workers, homecare nurses) or citizens who benefit from a better, more efficient service.

When you work in this area you sometimes forget this is a stock market listed company (though only sometimes). It's also the Tieto people. I expect most companies brag about the unique energy of their employees, as if there is a type of person who works only there and nowhere else. That's silly of course. The people I’ve worked with in Tieto are a mix of all sorts, but universally highly talented. They have deep engineering skills, excellent business insight, creative imagination and most of all an insatiable thirst for new ways to do things and new products. Things don’t stand still at Tieto, and while of course there are ups and downs, it's never boring.

Change is the only constant

Right now is the most exciting time I’ve worked at Tieto. There are major technological, demographical and cultural upheavals impacting our business and we’re engaging directly with them head-on, rather than covering our eyes and pretending they don’t exist or don’t apply to us. While no one really knows exactly what effect these upheavals will have on Tieto, I’m certain I want to have a say in it.

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